Abstract: The international research of geographical misconceptions is enormous compared to its Hungarian counterpart. The abundance of the literature and also the different kinds of misconceptions encouraged us to start our project of revealing geographical misconceptions in Hungary. Our present study aims at identifying plate-tectonics-related misconceptions of three distinctive groups of students: Grade-9 secondary grammar school students, Geography BSc students, and BA students of different academic interests. We employed a cross-case-based approach, and multiple kinds of data were collected for triangulation. A three-part diagnostic test was administered to students, and results were evaluated by comparative content analysis. We found that while culturally induced misconceptions were not present, mistakes in textbooks, the linguistic characteristics of the Hungarian language, the extensive media coverage of certain topics, and informal learning are most likely to be responsible for the emergence of geographical misconceptions. We argue that primary, secondary, and tertiary education should move to a more practical, innovative, and inclusive pedagogy where geographical knowledge is organically anchored into everyday life in order to refute possible misconceptions.
Keywords: geographical misconceptions, conceptual change, plate tectonics, problem-oriented teaching
Abstract: Small-scale modelling is a widespread method for the simulation of large-scale natural processes in the fields of hydrology, hydraulics, geology, geomorphology and river mechanics. At the University of Pécs a computer-controlled sand table (hydrologic and tectonic geomodel) was put into operation in 2014 for both research and educational purposes. The table can be tilted at any arbitrary angle between ±7.5° along its longitudinal axis, and by ±10° along its transversal axis. Lateral deformation of the medium is simulated through the displacement of four lateral pushblades to the extent of 100 mm. The four interior units can be uplifted to model orogenic processes. All motions in the flume are executed by computer-governed electroengines.
Geomodels, flumes and stream tables may ease the understanding of geographic processes through problem-oriented based teaching methods and hand-on-experiences. The benefits of problem-based learning (PBL) have also been confirmed during the visits of various age groups at the geomodel. Our observation during these demonstration sessions revealed one of the major weaknesses of the Hungarian educational system, i.e. teachers are forced to follow the conventional geographical curricula, therefore hindering their adaptation to cutting-edge educational methods and the learning-by-doing approach of the Western European and North American syllabi.
Keywords: computer-controlled geomodel, problem-based learning, geography education, popular science
Abstract: Media is present in many areas of our lives and has a substantial effect on us. If we consider these aspects, geography is also present everywhere. This thought was what inspired us to do our research, and investigate the opportunities in the application of media pedagogy to the teaching of geography.
Keywords: media, pedagogy, geography, mediapedagogy, motivation